Socialist Worker

International round up: Biggest protest in Hong Kong for months

Issue No. 2684

Big crowds in Hong Kong

Big crowds in Hong Kong (Pic: Studio Incendo)


Protesters in Hong Kong staged their biggest demonstration in six months last Sunday.

Organisers said 800,000 joined the protest, the first approved by police since mid-August. It marked half a year of the pro-democracy movement that began in opposition to a new extradition bill.

The bill would have allowed the extradition of suspects to mainland China. It has been withdrawn. But the movement is now demanding bigger changes, including the resignation of Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam.

Protesters also want an independent investigation into police brutality and the unconditional release of arrested demonstrators.

Marchers on Sunday chanted, “Five demands, not one less,” and, “Disband the police force now.”

Arrested

Protester Angeline said, “Thousands of our younger generation have been arrested, but we don’t see a single police officer suspended.

Eyewitness from Hong Kong as protests force a retreat on extradition bill
Eyewitness from Hong Kong as protests force a retreat on extradition bill
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“Nobody throughout the government has faced any consequences for their actions.” The harsh response of the state to the protests has dented the legitimacy of the system. Some protesters handed out flyers advertising dozens of newly-formed industry-specific unions.

There were some attempts to organise strikes and disrupt rush-hour transport on Monday morning.

The government has continued to demonise protesters as violent criminals. It is refusing to give in to the movement’s demands.

And after repeated police attacks on demonstrations, cops were due to get a pay rise later this week.

Willy Lam, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said, “The scene is set for more confrontation.”


Further opposition on the streets of Guinea

Mass funerals were held last week for protesters who rallied against the president of Guinea in west Africa.

Eight people were buried as large numbers of mourners demonstrated.

Three of those killed had been shot during earlier funerals.

Despite the killings, opposition leaders say demonstrations against president Alpha Conde will continue.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets on several occasions since mid-October over speculation that Conde is seeking a third term.

In both October and November the opposition claimed that a million people had taken to the streets.

Guinea, a former French colony, is rich in minerals but ranks among the poorest countries in the world.

But it has a powerful working class that has won major gains through strikes before.

However, other African rulers have clustered round Conde.


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